Gahcho Kué to Provide C$6.7 Bln Boost to Economy

Toronto: Gahcho Kué, the world’s largest new diamond mine under construction, will provide a C$6.7 billion boost to the Canadian economy according to a report published today by EY for The De Beers Group of Companies.

The new mine, located in the Northwest Territories (NWT), is a joint venture between De Beers Canada (51 per cent) and Mountain Province Diamonds (49 per cent). Set to open officially later this month, it is expected to produce approximately 54 million carats of rough diamonds over its lifetime,1 reinforcing Canada’s position as the world’s third largest diamond producer by value.

Underpinned by a C$1 billion capital investment, the development of Gahcho Kué between 2006 and 2015 has already provided a C$440 million boost to the NWT economy.

However, almost 90 per cent of Gahcho Kué’s economic impact will be delivered once the mine becomes fully operational. Including its downstream supply chain impacts, the mine supported more than 2,700 jobs in 2015, with employment at the site representing more than 10 per cent of employment in the NWT’s extractive industries.

The report, which looks into the socio-economic impact of De Beers in Canada, also shows:

  • In the last 10 years alone, De Beers has contributed more than C$7 billion to Canada’s GVA2 and exports supported by its mining operations have brought C$4 billion in foreign currency into the Canadian economy.
  • Across Canada, De Beers supports 11 communities, including C$55 million in support to First Nations through Impact Benefit Agreements (2006-2015).
  • De Beers’ investment in its Victor Mine has underpinned the C$3.7 billion in GVA that the mine has contributed to the Ontario economy (2006-2015), while supporting an average of 1,360 full time equivalent jobs annually.
  • The relocation of De Beers Canada’s headquarters from Toronto to Calgary is expected to make a C$24 million annual contribution to Alberta’s economy, while supporting almost 160 jobs annually in Alberta.
  • De Beers has invested C$750 million in exploration across Canada since 1961, supporting almost 100 jobs each year on average. The company has been responsible for the discovery of more than 170 kimberlites to date.

Kim Truter, Chief Executive, De Beers Canada, said: “Diamonds are perhaps one of Canada’s best kept secrets, yet, as this report shows, they contribute significantly to the economy. In the 50 years we have been in Canada, we have seen how our business can be a catalyst for delivering both economic and social value, locally, regionally and across the country.

“Gahcho Kué is an important project for us, but also for the Northwest Territories and local communities it supports. It will contribute economically through a significant annual spend that places a priority on partnering with communities, local procurement, local hiring and local social investment.”

De Beers has been operating in Canada since it carried out its first exploration programme in 1961. Last year, its operating mines collectively accounted for almost a third of Canada’s diamond export earnings.